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Something to Muench on: The Gift of Connection!

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Kimberly Muench

I have to be honest, over the past several years the holiday season has become less exciting.  When our kids were little I very much enjoyed the process of getting various toy catalogs in the mail (usually starting before Halloween) and watching their anticipation as they spent hours making and revising their gift lists. Never was my day more joyous than when we had a million errands to run and a few new catalogs arrived for me to pull out while trying to get through Target with a handful of kids in tow.  Surprising them as I took the catalogs out of my purse, seeing their eyes to light up…I knew I had a solid hour of peace and power shopping!

It’s the little things, right?

Now our kids are middle school to married (it’s actually hard to call them “kids” anymore since four-fifths of them are taller than I am).   Things just don’t have the same value they did when they were little.  As the years have passed the toy requests have disappeared or have been replaced by more expensive electronic items and some occasional clothing or jewelry.  The joy and anticipation of the morning gift opening is almost nowhere to be found.

I can’t imagine I am the only mom who has experienced this as their kids have grown up.

I struggle with wanting to replace that joy with something else.

Last year everyone but my teenage daughter had a hard time getting a list written.  Of course, in their eyes money is always welcome, but who wants to put that in a box and call it a gift?

This year for the holidays, because stuff has become less important over the years, we will be choosing to spend more time than dollars and concentrate on what we have discovered over the years has even more meaning than any toy or tech gadget.

We are creating ways to give connection, memories and shared experiences.

Our family will practice living a more connected life.  A few examples off the top of my head… my daughter loves to bake and will share some homemade goodies with neighbors. I have a work commute to Fort Worth that often involves seeing homeless so I will fill some backpacks with clothing/blankets/hygiene and food items to hand out along my drive. And instead of more material items under the tree, we’ll go out for dinner and to the Escape Room or bowling as a family.

Tom and I also plan on asking the kids to help us plan a family vacation for 2020.  We might as well take advantage of his new Expedia CruiseShipCenters franchise incentives, right?

You might wonder why we would wait so long to take the trip; the reality is we have a lot of kids which means it takes time and money to get everyone in the same space (bringing them together at home for a holiday is often a major feat).

Plus, I know the discussion and research and exploration of a where we’ll go on our big family get away will stir up that feeling of anticipation I am missing!  They’ll use their electronics to figure out whether it will be…a cruise to someplace tropical, a European excursion, or even a visit to an all-inclusive resort where we can sit our bums on the beach!

What would your family do if, instead of wrapped packages, they received the news they would be going on a vacation together?  The possibilities are endless!

And hey, if you decide like we have those material items are less appealing than having a family adventure, I know a guy who can help you plan your escape!

Cheers to a holiday season filled with warmth, good health, and connection with friends and family.

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About The Author

Kim Muench is a Flower Mound mother of five kiddos between the ages of ten and thirty. She is a certified parent coach who loves working with moms and dads of adolescents to build stronger, healthier connections in their home. To learn more, visit her website at www.realifeparentguide.com.

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